UPDATE: Police ID woman shot, killed in home invasion near Niles

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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) -- A woman in Niles was shot and killed in her home on Sunday night.

John Lewis told deputies two black men shot and killed his wife Carla in their home outside Niles on Sunday night, then stole her car.

Police in Michigan are hoping someone can help them catch Carla Lewis's killers, described as two "heavyset black men", who they stole her car and took off.

“It scared the living daylights out of my, because I hadn't heard anything during the day,” neighbor Kay Hartline said. “No shots. No dogs barking.”

Neighbors living along Lawndale Street outside Niles were shocked as state police and deputies showed up.

“They pulled over here to the tree and they turned the lights on immediately, I thought, something's going on here,” Hartline said.

Berrien County deputies say John Lewis and his wife Carla came home to find two men in their house. They say one of the men shot Carla. John ran out to call 911.

“I just thought maybe she lost control when she got in the car and pulled off because she took off fast,” Hartline said.

Deputies say it wasn't Carla, but two men who took off in her Mazda, as John waited for officers to arrive.

“He was crying and he was saying, 'Oh Lord, oh Lord, what has happened?'” Hartline said.

Neighbors watched as John was led away by police, distraught over his wife's murder.

“He's helped all of us as neighbors around here. And we've been able to depend on him and he's been able to depend on us,” Hartline said.

Police are looking for a dark blue or black 2008 Mazda CX-9 with Michigan plates reading “CMY 3721”.

Deputies arrested John for a marijuana violation.

He's expected in Berrien County court on Tuesday. In addition to the sheriff's office, agents from the FBI violent crimes task force are also looking into the case. So far, deputies haven’t said if they believe the two men broke in hoping to steal from Lewis.

The incident happened around 6 p.m. on Lawndale Ave. between 14th and 15th streets in Niles Township.

Police say Carla's husband, John Benton Lewis, called 911 and said there were two heavyset black men in their basement. He said one of them shot his wife and then took off with her car that was parked in the driveway.

When officers arrived they tried CPR, but couldn't save her.

"Right now we have area broadcast out on that vehicle in Michigan, Indiana and all the surrounding states so if it's seen it will be stopped and the people inside will be questioned," said Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey.

On Monday, the Berrien County Sheriff's Department revealed that John Lewis was found to be "not in compliance with the Medical Marijuana Act." He was booked into the Berrien County Jail.

Neighbors are shocked by the incident. They said this is not something typical of this neighborhood.

"Never seen anything in this neighborhood, hardly see a cop come out through this neighborhood," said Faye Smith, a resident on Lawndale for 28 years. "This is one of the nicest neighborhoods you could ever live in."

Smith came home to find at least a dozen officers in front of her home.

"And they was telling me to get in the house, get in the house real quick," she said. "I didn't know what to go in the house for."

Smith said the couple always kind and helpful and they don't deserve this.

"I don't know who you are, but I pray to God you turn yourself in because you really hurt some good people, you hurt a whole neighborhood," Smith said. "We are all like brothers and sisters in this neighborhood, we look out for each other."

This story is developing. Stay with NewsCenter 16 for the latest information.


Michigan police are looking for Carla Lewis's stolen 2008 Mazda CX-9 with plates reading "CMY 3721"